William A. Greene - copyright ©2003  

December 3, 1890 - Work had begun on the switch that will lead to the new ice house to be built at the pond.    

December 24, 1890 - Good progress is now being made in building the ice house at the pond.  It's capacity will be 4000 tons of ice.    

January 7, 1891 - Ice is being cut in large quantities and the ice houses are rapidly being filled.  George E. Brown has reserved the right to sell ice to Andover parties from that part of the pond east of the Erie Railway.  A fine quality of ice is also being taken from a pond on Michael Dean's farm.     Prangen Brothers of Hornellsville, who are putting up the large ice house at the pond   above this village, expect  to begin cutting this week.  They employ extensive machinery for cutting and hoisting ice and the News will soon give an extended description of the operation.



  January 14, 1891 - "How Ice is Harvested"  

     Prangen Brothers of Hornellsville began cutting ice at the pond above the village last week.  Their large ice-house is not yet finished, but ice men cannot "make hay when the sun shines", and so they will pack their ice and complete the building afterwards.     The Ice-house is 100 feet long and 60 feet wide and the lowest point of the roof will be 32 feet from the ground.  The building is divided into four compartments of equal size - each of which will hold about a thousand tons of ice.  


     The first operation preparatory to harvesting the ice is scraping off the snow.  This is done by means of large scrapers drawn by horses, and after the scrapers have passed over the surface there is very little snow left.  

      The ice is cut by a machine called an "ice plow", an implement with handles like anyplow, drawn by a horse.  All there is of the machine except the handles is a long thin pieceof steel six or eight inches high, having teeth on the underside.   This is drawn over the ice cutting it to a depth of about two inches.  The same operation is repeated until, with the present thickness of ice, it has been cut to a depth of five or six inches, leaving about the same depth uncut.  



  The ice plow is followed by men with saws, who detach huge cakes of ice which are floated towards the ice-house by men with long handled hooks.  As the ice nears the elevator, it is broken apart into single cakes, and floated upon a long endless chain or elevator, which carries it up an inclined plane to an ice planer, located at a point higher than the tiers of ice have reached in the ice-house.  This planer shaves the top of the ice to a depth of from one to three inches, leaving the cake free of all diet and "snow  ice", which accumulate on the top of a pond of ice.  From the planer, the ice goes down a chute into the ice-house, where a number of men are ready with ice tongs to grasp the cubes and put them into proper position.  


     The power for the elevator is furnished by two steam engines.  The capacity of the elevators is about thirty cakes a minute.  It takes a small army of men to do the work, no less than fifty men being now employed.  As fast as the ice-house is filled, the planer is moved up higher, and is always kept at a point sufficiently high to allow the cake to shoot rapidly into the house.  

     The ice-house is now about half filled, the proprietors expect to finish this week.       Hundreds of visitors have watched the work during the past week, and the sight is well worth a trip to the pond.  

     Prangen Brothers have a large ice-house in Hornellsville, which may be filled with ice from this pond later in the season.   

January 21, 1891 - William McDonald of the Brunswick has on exhibition at his place of business, two blocks of ice cut from Andover pond by Prangen's men.  The ice is over a foot in thickness and is solid all the way through.  It is of a superior quality and will doubt- less meet with great favor next season when Old Sol is trying to contaminate the beer output. 


Jan. 25, 1893 - “Large Business In Ice”  Prangen Bros. Have filled their large ice house at the Pond above the village,  have for a number of days been shipping ice to Hornellsville, Salamanca and other places.  A large force of men is employed, and about 30 cars are loaded each day.  A total of 237 cars have been loaded and shipped up to the present time.  The carshold on an average of 20 tons of ice each.  Yesterday the men were obligated to quit work at noon owing to a shortage of railroad cars.  There is a demand for all ice that can be harvested here, and should the weather continue favorable an immense quantity will be shipped to various points within one or two hundred miles.  

Jan. 23, 1895 - “Struck by a Cake of Ice”  Last Monday William Boyd, who lives in Mrs. Warfield’s  house on  Hill Street , was struck by a heavy cake of ice while working at the pond.  The cake was being carried up the elevator to the ice house, when in some manner it got loose and shot back, striking Mr. Boyd in the back, and inflicting injuries which will doubtless lay him up for some time.  

Jan. 30, 1895 - “Prangen Brothers Ice Business”  The Hornellsville Times says:  Prangen Bros. Have received an order for 1,500 tons of ice for use by the Erie in Buffalo .  The ice will be cut from the Cameron and Andover waters and is of the finest quality.  We were informed by a party that should know, that Prangen Bros. Have contracted to furnish over thirteen thousand tons of ice for the Erie .  To this should be added the crop the firm has gathered for their own trade and it will be seen that they are carrying on a very large business.  

Feb. 1, 1899 - Prangen Brothers are gathering the second crop from the pond.  They shipped 60 cars Sunday and 64 cars Monday, making 900 in all, and yesterday filled their house here. Mr. Hincher says 10 to 12 inch ice is the rule today, and still making.  Last year they did not Cut until the last day of January, but this winter they have certainly struck a bonanza.  

Feb. 22, 1899 - “Ice Industry”  The weather this season, which has been unusually favorable for ice men, has been taken advantage of by the Prangen Bros., and their patrons will the coming summer be served with the cleanest, purest ice that ever was harvested.

               Few people have any idea of the ice industry, or its magnitude, as carried on by the Prangen Bros.  A reporter of the Tribune visited Andover , near which place the Messrs. Prangen have been cutting ice, yesterday afternoon and was surprised at the immense quantities cut  and the facility with which it was handled, sixty cars of ice being taken from the pond and loaded into cars yesterday afternoon alone.  The ice is cut into cakes which weigh about 400 lbs. each, are 18 inches thick and as clear as a crystal.


            The Prangen  Bros. In addition to the immense quantities cut for their own business, Contracted to fill the ice houses of the Erie Railroad company in this immediate vicinity, and have given employment to a large number of men, at good wages.  This contract was completed yesterday the commodious houses of the company being filled to their utmost capacity with a superior quality of ice.  (Hornellsville Tribune)  

Jan. 10, 1900 - Few of our readers who have not actually witnessed the operation of harvesting ice as it is done on our  pond by the Prangen Brothers, have any idea of the volume of ice that is carried there each day.  Last Friday, two full train loads, or 74 cars, were cut, and loaded in less than eleven hours.  We have all seen ice marked by horses, and then a number of men take saws and cut it into blocks which are fished out of the drink  with a great deal of fuss and a large amount of labor, but the Prangen Brothers don’t do business that way.  The ice is marked with teams of horses and the other horses are hitched to plows that cut ice into squares, just leaving a few inches of solid ice at the bottom.  After enough has been plowed so that work can commence, men with spuds (a chisel-like tool), break off about 12 sections in width of these blocks, and as long as the pond is wide, thus leaving a float of ice marked and plowed, ready to be floated down the channel.  As the channel is reached, others with spuds in hand, break about 3 tiers off the end of the float, leaving 30 blocks which are shoved into the channel by the use of long pikes, made for this purpose.  As the cakes pass down the channel, other hands break them into blocks of convenient shape for handling. At the end of the channel is an endless chain elevator, on which the ice is carried to a conveyor which takes them to the cars.  From the moment the ice reaches the channel, it does not, unless the machinery stops, until landed into the car.  By actual time, it took only 3 minutes for a block of ice to reach the car from the time it is started from the water.  It almost seems as though it literally walked from the water to the car without legs, and then follows another and another until you see a continuous streak of ice making for the car door.


           This industry gives employment to around thirty to forty men during the winter Months and is a great boom to our little village.  Who still says that Andover is not a town worth living in, when it takes two trains and four engines to carry away the fruit of one day’s labor.  

Mar. 1, 1907 - The ice harvest is finished.  Prangen Brothers cut 1335 carloads of ice from Andover pond this year, giving employment to a large number of local Laborers.  Each car averaged 25 tons of ice.


  May 10, 1907 - Notice  The ice wagon will start May 1st.  Prices of ice, same as the past, $2 per month for 3 months or less, $1.50 per month for the season.  

Feb. 28, 1908 - “Heel Badly Cut”  Wallace Boyd had  one of his feet badly cut Friday while working on the ice spudding.  In some way one of his fellow workers accidentally hit him with a sharp pike in the heel, inflicting a serious wound, which necessitated several stitches.

  Mar. 6, 1908 - Prangen Brothers carried about 1200 cars of ice at this place this year.It was all of excellent quality.    


  Dec. 30, 1910 -  The Prangen Brothers are shipping ice from the ponds here to Hornell.  They Have a contract for filling Erie Rail Road ice houses in that city that calls for 37,500 tons of ice.

  Jan. 6, 1911 - 84 cars of ice in less than 10 hours was harvested on the Andover pond Monday.  Ice was about 10 inches thick.

  Jan. 20, 1911 - 756 car loads of ice have been put in the Erie ice house at Hornell by the Prangen Brothers, representing the first cutting from the Andover Ponds. 


Jan. 27, 1911 - The ice house of the Condensory plant in the village is being filled with beautiful ice this week.

  Feb. 11, 1921 - Neil Prangen was up from Hornell Tuesday and gave notice to his helpers that he  would discontinue cutting ice on the Andover ponds.  Mr. Prangen claims that he has a demand  for all the ice he could harvest from the ponds but that the excessive freight rates makes it  prohibitory in price to the trade.

Jan. 30, 1924 - Supt. Penfold of the Dairylmen's League plant has stored at the Andover plant 630 tons of  ice for use next summer.